Welcome to an evening of exciting dance performance by Sumedha Kandepalli.

On behalf of From within Dance Academy and Sumedha's family, we cordially welcome all of you to an evening of dance. I'm , a post-Arangetram student at From Within Academy, and I will be your MC for this evening.

Before we get started, I’d like to remind everyone of some house rules.

 

- No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium

- If you must leave the auditorium during the performance; please do so in-between items

- If you have young children, please sit towards the aisle. Kindly leave the auditorium if they get restless and start crying so that it is not disturbing to the rest of the audience members. Kindly do not let the children roam around the theater unattended.

- Kindly maintain silence and talk softly when the show is in progress. If you talk loudly, it distrubs the artistes on stage.

 

We ask our audience to turn off their phones so they can stay present with their experience of the art that will be shared. It is touching that some may feel inspired to take their own photos and videos to share on social media. Instead, we invite you to write and speak about your experience after the performance. You are also encouraged to share official photos and videos from our social media accounts.

 

In our digital world, it is truly special that you took the time out of your life to appreciate live art. Please prepare to immerse yourself in this experience by turning your phones off now. Please do not take any photos or videos from this point forward. Thank you for your kind understanding!

Sumedhais a disciple of Guru Smt. Subhashini Vijay Santhanam of the From Within Dance Academy a global dance organization with centers in the US and India. This evening of dance signifies both a beginning and a culmination of sorts for the dancer which include the endless hours of rigorous practice, varied emotions and complete immersion. All of which was done in the pursuit of excellence for this moment when she finally gets on stage – “Arangetram”. In Tamil (one of the south Indian languages) Aranga means a raised stage and “etram” means “to ascend”.
 
All items unless otherwise mentioned have been choreographed by our beloved Guru Subhashini.
 
For all the items we present today, as long as we are able identify clearly, we will mention the time period of the composition or composer life period so that we get an idea into the history and context of when the poem was written and music set. It is hoped that this will give the audience a deeper insight into the relevance of the oral tradition being passed on thru generations and the relevance of the composition in current times. While several old pieces have deep, timeless, philosophical and spiritual significance and several new pieces share values of a new social context with a unique appealing freshness.
 
We hope that the erudite and sensitive audience present today is able to appreciate it all thru our presentation today.

Jhem Jhem Thanana

Raga: Aarabi

Tala: Aadi

Composer: Dr. M Balamurali Krishna (1930-2016)

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

We commence with an offering of flowers. This is an item where the Bharatanatyam dancer salutes God, Guru and the audience. We include a verse in praise of Lord Ganesha. The verse goes –

To the one who is with me from the beginning to the end, through my learning to that Ganapathy, I fold my hands and pray, remover of obstacles, embodiment of all good qualities, leader of the Ganas, I bow to you.

Mishram Allarippu

Raga: null

Tala: Misrachapu

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: Kalakshetra/Rukmani Devi Arundale

This dance is typically an opening number. Starting with movements of the neck, eyes and shoulders, it gradually includes movements of the whole body. It is meant to represent the blossoming of a flower. Today’s allarippu is set to a count of seven beats.

Nalinakanthi Jathiswaram

Raga: Nalinakanthi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Traditional

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

A Jathiswaram is a song that consists of only swaras (notes) and jathis (complex beats) in a specific raga and tala. The dancer performs to this devoid of emotions (“abhinaya”) and displays her capabilities by executing basic steps (“adavus”) and hand gestures (“mudras’).

Lion and Mouse

Raga: Ragamalika

Tala: Misra Chapu

Composer: Tamil text provided by Kiruba Geetha Pallav, set by Smt Neela Ramanuja in 2008

Choreographer: M Subhashini Vijay Santhanam

The story is of the Lion and Mouse. In the forest, there was a lion who was very tired and lay down

under a tree to rest for the evening. A mouse comes by and unwittingly steps on the Lion without seeing it. Disturbed the Lion wakes up and is very angry at the mouse. The mouse begs the Lion’s forgiveness and the Lion is amused and says – ok since you are such a small creature, I will not harm you and lets the mouse escape into its hole. The mouse is very happy and says that I will never forget your kindness and be of help to you some day…

The Lion does not really think he would need the mouse’s help and dismisses him with a wave of his paw..

A hunter comes by and wants to capture the Lion. He wonders how to set up a trap. He finds a wild goat and ties the goat to a tree and attaches a snare. The Lion gets hungry and spots the goat, he makes a move to attack it and finds himself trapped in the net. He gets very dejected when he cannot set himself free.

The mouse chances upon the net and gnaws at it to set the Lion free.

Even small things can have great value!

Roopamu Joochi

Raga: Todi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Muthuswami Deekshitar 1775 to 1835

Choreographer: Quartet / Kalakshetra

The Varnam is the central and most elaborate item presented in any Bharatanatyam repertoire. It includes complex rhythmic passages along with interpretive dance and stories supporting the main idea of the lyrics This Varnam is steeped in Sringara and is the primary Rasa in the lyrics. The heroine’s affection is directed towards Lord Shiva or Lord Tyagesha the presiding deity of Thiruvaroor temple. She says, having set my eyes on your wondrous form, my heart is filled with love and I approach you only to find you upset and angry at me. You are the Lord of the world and you remove all three kinds of sufferings of your devotees. Why are you not doing the same for me?

* * *

**

The three tApa or sufferings are:

1. AdhyAtmika, sufferings arising from one's own mind and body;
2. Adhidaivika, sufferings arising from nature; and
3. Adhibhautika, sufferings arising from other living entities.

* * *

**

I am always engrossed in worshiping and glorifying you with a heart filled with love and joyfully recount and praise all your acts of prowess and valor. Cupid is considered the most attractive and handsome man. The heroine or nayika says, you are so handsome that you would equal a crores of Cupids. Please do not play tricks on me, my Lord. With flower arrows, the God of Love, is striking at me and this love is causing me so much pain and I am unable to stop myself now. The time is right for you to take me to be yours. Frequently, I focus my mind at your feet and take solace and console myself good naturedly. You are the most honored Sri Thyagesha who resides in Thiruvaroor, please don’t delay in offering protection to me.

Shiva Tandavam Eka Taala

Raga: undefined

Tala: undefined

Composer: undefined

Choreographer: undefined

Bhavamulona

Raga: Suddha Dhanyasi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Sri. Annamacharya - 14th Century Poet

Choreographer: null

Pray and praise the Lord as Govinda, Govinda inside your heart as well as around yourself. The poet encourages everyone to pray not only inwardly but also praise the Lord openly at all times.

Incarnations of all the Gods are none other than Sri Hari himself. All of this Universe is none other than Sri Hari himself. All the vedic chants and mantras are none other than Sri Hari himself;

So, chant Hari, Hari, Hari, Hari, all the time, Oh my mind!

All that happens in this Universe are an outcome of deeds of Lord Vishnu himself; All the Vedas are in admiration and praise of Lord Vishnu;

Lord Vishnu is the one that is utmost, ultimate, highest in the Universe; So, try to search for Vishnu, all the time, Oh my mind!

The beginning and the end (of this Universe) is none other than Achyuta;; The killer of the asuras is none other than Achyuta ;

The Lord atop the Venkatadri Hill is none other than Achyut;

So, pray for His protection all the time, Oh my mind!

We recount how Sage Narada questions the Lord to reaffirm that he indeed was the Lord’s greatest devotee. Lord Narayana points to a humble wood cutter on earth and says that he was his greatest devotee. Narada is surprised and points out that the wood cutter only calls out his name once in a day but Narada is chanting ‘Narayana Narayana’ all the time.

* * *

**

Lord Vishnu smiles and hands Narada a cup filled with oil and asks him to circumambulate Vaikuntam wanrning him that not even a drop of oil should drip. Narada carefully complies. Once he returns the cup, he at once asks if he was the greatest devotee of the Lord as he has successfully completed the task.

* * *

**

The Lord smiles and asks him how many times he had called his name in the process of his walk around Vaikuntam. Ruefully, Narada admits that he had focused only on the oil cup.

* * *

**

Lord Vishnu points out that the man on earth like many of us is engaged in Samasara and trying hard to earn a livelihood for his family. But everyday, with mind and heart filled with devotion, he calls out to him and prays to him. That is most appeasing to the Lord.

Ahirbhairavi Thillana

Raga: Ahirbhairavi

Tala: Adi

Composer: Dr. M Balamurali Krishna (1930-2016)

Choreographer: Avijit Das

**The last item in any Bharatanatyam performance is the Tillana and is mainly a nritta piece or pure dance number in praise of Lord Krishna. The short verse describes his playing of the flute as most delicate and enticing. The music that blossoms from Krishna’s flute is most melodious because of his mastery over Raga, Tala and all sound. **

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